ILOA To Use Chang'e-3 Moon Lander Telescope For Galaxy Imaging

Chang'e-3 / Yutu Moon rover. Credits: CNSA

[ILOA Press Release 07.09.2013]
The International Lunar Observatory Association has signed a historic MOU with NAOC - National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the first such USA / China collaboration, the parties agree to establish a cooperative program to conduct Galaxy, Astronomical Imaging for Global 21st Century Education using the Lunar Telescope of China's Chang'e-3 Moon Lander (scheduled for launch December 1st 2013). With an exchange in kind, NAOC will receive observing time on the ILO-X and ILO-1 mission instruments (NET 2014 – 2015). The MOU Signing Ceremony took place in Kamuela, Hawai'i Island, USA on September 4, 2012.

This science collaboration will be part of a mission that will conduct the first soft controlled landing of any spacecraft on the Moon in almost 40 years. ILOA Founding Director Steve Durst noted that, "it will be the first ever program to conduct Galaxy / Astronomical imaging from the lunar surface." These Galaxy images from the Moon will advance 21st Century Education through integration with the ILOA Galaxy Forum education and outreach program.

The ILOA is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to advance human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon, and to participate in internationally cooperative lunar base build-out. The ILO-X is a 10cm optical telescope precursor instrument, part of a joint-venture partnership with Moon Express Canada in a bid for the Google Lunar X-Prize. ILO-1 is the primary ILOA mission under development by MDA Canada to land a multifunctional 2-meter dish on the Moon South Pole to conduct Galaxy observation and commercial communications activities.

The ILOA co-sponsors with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums dedicated to advancing 21st Century Education. Galaxy Forums, designed to provide greater global awareness, capabilities and action in Galaxy science, exploration and enterprise, are held in Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Africa, Hawaii, Kansas and New York. Current plans are for expansion to South America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Antarctica through 2014.

Dedicated to astronomical research and public education, NAOC hosts the Lunar and Planetary Research Center and is the responsible institute for the ultraviolet Lunar Telescope onboard the Chang'e-3 lander which will be operated by the CNSA Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Scheduled for 2017, Chang'e-5 is planned as a sample return mission.